What is probably seen as one of the most well-known land marks of Los Angeles, Urban Light – the official title of the streetlight display in front of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art – gives visitors the perfect backdrop for any photoshoot, movie scene, or concert.
“Urban Light” is a large scale assembly structure that was created by Chris Burden in 2008. It is made up of 202 restored 1920’s and 30’s era street lamps collected primarily from around Southern California. They range in size from 20- 30 ft. Each is unique, “their variety in a very literal way represents distinct styles that distinguish different neighborhoods — present and past.” (LATimes)
This location has been filmed in many movies like No Strings Attached, Valentine’s Day, and in the television show Glee.
The first time I saw this display in person was for a jazz concert in front of LACMA. For me, seeing music performed live is always an unforgettable experience, but what usually makes or breaks a concert for me is the environment where it takes place. This setting could not have been more perfect. On a warm summer night, when jazz is in the air and the street lamps surround you in light, it’s a pretty magical scene.
I never truly understood the history of this piece or how it could be considered a piece of art, but now I do. As all art does, it took a phenomenal amount of time and dedication to create this sculpture (he started collecting lamps in 2000!) and precision to organize all of the lamps into the final product that is seen today.